Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saudi Arabia sends military equipment to Syria rebels

The Times of India: "DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is delivering military equipment to Syrian rebels in an effort to stop bloodshed by President Bashar al-Assad's regime, a top Arab diplomat said on Saturday.

"Saudi military equipment is on its way to Jordan to arm the Free Syrian Army," the diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"This is a Saudi initiative to stop the massacres in Syria," he added saying further "details will follow at a later time.""

Snip

Don't believe a word of this Saudi falderal. This is power politics pure and simple.

This the Sunni Saudis trying to undermine a client state of Iran. The arms are very likely going to Salafi Jihadist working as asymmetrical fighters. In other words; hello Al Queda, we hardly missed you. How replacing a minority Alawite regime tied to Iran with a Salafi minority regime tied to Saudia Arabia helps long term US Interest in the region is something of a mystery to me. How this would help Israel is also a bit of mystery.

What I can clearly see is an epic mess brewing in Syria, with the Alawites fighting ferociously for their survival against the Salafalist, and lots of collateral damage--especially among the Christian Syrians.

So what, pray tell, is our dithering, distracted Chief Executive doing to prevent Syria from sliding into a prolonged civil war? Nothing, from what I can see. Other than punting the whole mess over to Kofi Annan, and praying that Syria does not queer Obama's re-elect opportunities, is there a plan B? I seriously wonder what Our Most Sacred Lady Of The Tastefully Appointed Pant-Suite is doing behind the scenes? With the conventional wisdom of the DC beltway now swinging away from intervention, what are Hillary Clinton's marching orders? Has Barack Hamlet Obama offered any guidance? Can Obama really offer any guidance, seeing that both China and Russia have measured him; and found him lacking?

Frankly, I think Obama is overmatched.  As a transactional personality, a person who really believes in his ability to find a compromise between two opposing side, he has no mental setpoints to deal with a murderous thug like Assad. Obama has shown time and time again that he has no mental equipement to deal with intransigent, confrontational personalities. Having no ideology, being actually hostile to both ideology, and the people who have one, Obama can not comprehend that mindset. He sees intractability as either as a negotiating ploy, or as bad from. He sure as shooting does not get why Assad will hold on to power until the last possible second. Obama does not get that many people don't give a tinker's damn about game theory, or rational outcomes; they want what they want and don't care who gets hurt in their pursuits of their wants. Assad is more than willing to have Syria swim in oceans of blood so he can hold on to power

Unfortunately, the Saudis are also more than willing for Syria to swim in oceans of blood as well. For the men of Riyadah, it is all about checking the power of Iran. Destabilizing the Alawite client of Tehran is all in a days work for the Saudis. Riyahah has the playbook from Afghanistan, and it is more than willing to use it again--damn the long term consequences. This is how they play the hardball game of Realpolitik in the Middle East.

Syria is developing into a serious foreign policy disaster for all concerned. The only way it could have been worse would be if we had followed John McCain's belligerent advice. God knows what the Russians would have done if the Marines had landed in Jableh or Tartus. I'm also sure that China would not be too pleased with US boots tromping around Hims or Hamah. We have, so far, avoided traipsing into another half baked, Neo-Con war of choice in the Middle East; but only because even the usual Republican suspects think that intervention in Syria is a bad idea.

Still, I wonder how long before the awful logic of our intervention into Libya becomes too hard to deny. As the humanitarian disaster in Syria expands, how long before the calls to "just do something" become too loud to ignore? Obama could still find himself dragged into the middle of a mess-- yet again. When you fail to decide, sooner or later the decision is made for you; and that is never a good thing.
Post a Comment